New CDF, Air Force Chief for Malaysia

 In Australia, Land, Uncategorized, Air

Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief, General Affendi Buang was appoint­ed as the new Chief of Defence Forces effec­tive Jan 2. He took over the helm from Gen Zulkifli Zainal Abidin who left office due to com­pul­so­ry retire­ment. The trans­fer of com­mand cer­e­mo­ny was wit­nessed by defence min­is­ter Mohamad Sabu. Also present at the cer­e­mo­ny were Malaysian Army chief Gen Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi and RMN chief Admiral Mohd Reza Mohd Sany.

Gen Affendi was the second air force chief to head the Malaysian Defence Forces – a post that was often held by the top offi­cer of the Malaysian Army. The last time an RMAF chief took the Defence Forces chief post was in 2009 via Gen (retd) Azizan Ariffin.

Gen Affendi joined the armed forces as an RMAF cadet offi­cer in 1980. He received basic train­ing at the Cadet Officer School in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, fol­lowed by basic flying train­ing at Alor Setar RMAF before he was com­mis­sioned as RMAF Second Lieutenant in 1982. He was later assigned to No 3 Flying Training Centre in RMAF Kuantan for basic fight­er jet train­ing, flying the MB-339A air­craft. He pro­gressed to oper­a­tional train­ing using McDonnell Douglas A‑4 Skyhawk in No 9 Squadron in October 1984 fol­lowed by his first oper­a­tional mis­sion using the air­craft in No 6 Squadron in June 1985.

Gen Affendi was one of the pio­neers in induct­ing the MiG-29 fight­er into RMAF’s oper­a­tional capac­i­ty. He was also one of the founders of RMAF’s MiG-29 aerial acro­bat­ics team, the Smokey Bandits.

From 1997 to 2002, he served under the First Air Division as a staff offi­cer before ending his stint there as Fighter Operation Staff Officer One, who was in charge of the oper­a­tional readi­ness of all of RMAF’s flight squadrons.

He then fur­thered his stud­ies at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies at the Defence College in Australia. In December 2009, Gen Affendi was pro­mot­ed as a Brigadier General and was appoint­ed as Operations and Exercise direc­tor gen­er­al at the Air Operations Command Base. At the end of 2010 he took a one-year course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom.

General Affendi was pro­mot­ed to the rank of Major General in 2010. In July 2014, he was pro­mot­ed to the rank of Lieutenant General. He was also appoint­ed as deputy chief of the Air Force in 2015. He was pro­mot­ed as 18th chief of the Air Force on Dec 21, 2016.

With the pro­mo­tion of Gen Affendi as Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Ackbal Abdul Samad, was appoint­ed as the 19th Chief of Air Force, and pro­mot­ed to the rank of General on Jan 3.

Gen Ackbal joined the RMAF ser­vice on June 1, 1980. He received basic flying train­ing at RMAF Alor Setar air base, being among the first batch of per­son­nel that were trained to fly the Pilatus PC‑7. He was later assigned to RMAF Kuantan air base where he received his fight­er jet con­ver­sion train­ing to fly the Aermacchi MB-339A. His early career as an oper­a­tional fight­er pilot saw him serv­ing sev­er­al RMAF air squadrons, start­ing with the No 9 and No 6 Squadron, flying the Skyhawk A4 PTM, between the year 1985 – 1988, and later to No 11 and 12 Squadron as an F‑5E fight­er pilot between the year 1988 – 1990.

He received his train­ing as a test pilot in the United Kingdom in 1992, where he flew a wide range of air­craft which include the Royal Air Force Jaguar, MiG-29N, Aero-Vodocody L39 Albatross, Hawk T Mk‑1, BAE 146, SAAB 2000, and King Air, among others.

Upon his return from the MiG-29N con­ver­sion train­ing, Gen Ackbal was entrust­ed to lead the No 19 Squadron, home to RMAF MiG-29Ns. He was also one of the mem­bers of the MiG-29N aer­o­bat­ic team. His out­stand­ing lead­er­ship skills saw him hold­ing var­i­ous senior posts within the RMAF and Malaysian Armed Forces. He was appoint­ed as Air Operation Commander on November 2010 until October 2014. He was later appoint­ed as Joint Forces Commander, a posi­tion that he held until August 2015 before he was reap­point­ed as Air Operations Commander in September 2015. In 2016, he was appoint­ed deputy chief of RMAF.    

Source: Asian Defence Journal

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